A total of 19 students received the Associate of Applied Science degree in Respiratory Care in a pinning and graduation ceremony, December 3, in the Randolph County Development Center. The evening was the culmination of an intensive program of study to prepare students to be Respiratory Care practitioners and to make application to the National Board for Respiratory Care to sit for the registry exam. Upon passing the exam, graduates are awarded the Certified Respiratory Therapist credential.
Class president Stevie Howard, who also received the overall academic award, told fellow classmates, “We have what we need to become good therapists; to become great therapists, that’s on us.”
The program includes a total of 800 clinical hours, under the supervision of clinical preceptors. The student-selected Outstanding Clinical Preceptor Award was presented to Billie Owens of Poplar Bluff Medical Center. The overall clinical award was presented to Michelle Davis.
Guest speaker Brett Vinson, Director of Respiratory Care at St. Bernard’s Medical Center, spoke of his personal experience as a patient with severe injuries and his experiences with a respiratory therapist who influenced his own decision to enter the field of respiratory care. He is an alumni of BRTC’s Respiratory Care program, and recipient of the 2013 Arkansas Society for Respiratory Care Practitioner of the Year Award. He challenged the graduates to remain current and to be flexible as they move forward in their careers.
BRTC President Dr. Wayne Hatcher conferred degrees, with assistance from Angie Caldwell, VP for Technical Education, Kimberly Bigger, BRTC Registrar, Respiratory Care Director Suezette Hicks, and instructors Jessica Alphin and Jason Linam.
The ceremony also recognized several students for completion of their AAS General Technology in Health Professions Respiratory emphasis and/or the Health Professions Respiratory Technical Certificate.